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Thread: I seem to have taken up modelling. No, not that sort.

  1. #1
    Master PreacherCain's Avatar
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    I seem to have taken up modelling. No, not that sort.

    I am uncertain whether this will resonate with anyone, but given there are a few on here with decent sized Lego collections etc, perhaps it will be of interest... And if anyone else has been doing a "lockdown build", I'd love to see them.

    This all started because I was getting twitchy. As lockdown continued I became quite frustrated at my inability to concentrate "properly" on things which had been my go-to forms of relaxation, particularly reading - so I decided to think of things which might occupy my mind without requiring the sort of sustained focus which a good novel needs. I have always enjoyed building Lego kits, as the various Ghostbusters and Apollo Program related Lego items around the place testify, so I thought I'd have a stab at reactivating a hobby from my childhood and adolescence, and get a model kit.

    I used to love these things - from as far back as I can recall, I built Airfix and other kits; because I am a massive nerd, it was always military - aircraft, tanks, you name it. If it was green, I built it. I believe the last kit I built was a Tamiya M113 ACAV, probably in the summer of 1995.

    Things have moved on since then! The range of kits available, even if you restrict your choice to, say, 1:35 scale, is bewildering. I decided I'd have a go at something British, Cold-War era (ah, nostalgia, it ain't what it used to be) and settled pretty quickly on a Chieftain MBT - to this day, the only AFV I have ridden in, while at an Army acquaint day with the CCF.

    The kits have also become considerably more complex and detailed than I remember, with a wide range of add-on super-detailed parts, photo-etched brass bits, and third-party firms making cast resin bits to enhance the realism still further.

    Having decided to attempt a Chieftain, next on the list was selecting a kit, and I was really pleased to see that a company called Takom (of whom I had previously never heard) offer a range of different options, from early service versions (Mk 2 and 3) to the final iteration of the beast, the late '80s/early '90s Mk 11. For purely nostalgic reasons, the Mk 11 was what I chose. Plus I think the TOGS box on the side of the turret looks way cooler than the massive old IR searchlight they put on the earlier tanks.

    A note on Chieftain - these were in service from the late 1960s, so incrementally upgraded over their long service lives. By the time of the Mk 11, Chieftain had been up-armoured with the "Stillbrew" applique package, designed to give better protection to the front of the tank from the main armament of the Soviet T-72. It had also been fitted with a completely new fire-control system and laser ranging, and finally: TOGS, the Barr & Stroud thermal gunsight system also fitted to Challenger, which replaced Chieftain. The MOD also continually worked to improve the L60 engine, which was Chieftain's weak point.

    As summed up to our CCF group by a tankie officer sent to educate us in the ways of the cavalry: "Chieftain is an old design, but it's well protected, carries very powerful main armament capable of killing any tank the Russians have, and it's an excellent gunnery platform. All in all, provided it breaks down in a tactically useful place, it is an excellent vehicle..."

    [I'm going to have to switch to Tapatalk to post some pics - more in a bit.]
    Last edited by PreacherCain; 30th June 2020 at 09:33. Reason: Couldn't resist checking the introduction date for Chieftain. 1967!

  2. #2
    Master
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    Blimey, you are a nerd... ;-)

    Love it!

    I was an avid modeller when I was a kid too, my bedroom was a health and safety hazard with all the WW2 and Cold War aircraft hanging from the ceiling. It helped that my best mates Dad at the time worked for Airfix, and I got lots of free models...

    Itís carried on all through my life really, and Iíve worked in full size aviation for the last 16 years, my interest in aircraft definitely started by modelling.

    Those kits sound good, although Iíll refrain from googling them, Iíve still got 3 RC model aircraft to build up in the workshop. Hope to get out and fly some of them at some point soon.

    Looking forward to seeing the pictures.

  3. #3
    Master PreacherCain's Avatar
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    So - pictures.


    Suitably dramatic box art! I was already thinking about the paint job (still outstanding at time of writing) and pretty quickly decided that BAOR black-and-green was the way to go.

    This kit is epic, by the way: the mouldings are super detailed and crisp, the fit of the parts is excellent and there are some lovely little touches: there are foundry marks, lots of photo-etch for engine grilles etc, all the optics moulded in clear plastic and thereís even manufacturer info stamped on the road wheel tyres...




    Assembling the running gear was a challenge as every road wheel is made from 6 or 7 separate parts. And letís not even talk about the tracks: 200 separate links to assemble (96 each side for authenticity) and THEN you have to fit the same number of track pads, one to each link.



    Upper hull coming together - all the stowage boxes etc, plus Iíve pre painted the engine deck as experience tells me that painting it though PE brass grilles will be a pig of a job. Also note the extra Stillbrew armour boxes in front of the turret ring, either side of the driverís hatch. You can also see the clear plastic optics - already painted due to fiddliness.



    Short break for priming! The Takom kit comes without crew figures, so I got some resin figures from Accurate Armour, also primed here.



    Halfway there on the turret - and optics fitted. You can see the crisp detail of the mouldings here, most impressive.



    26, 27, 28...



    Finer details on the upper hull: headlamp cages, wing mirror struts, PE parts.



    Turret more or less done, the radio antenna bases are resin parts from Accurate Armour. Even the TOGS cooking system gets its own brass grille!








    Thatís the story so far, then. Loads of work still to do, mainly tidying and paint, plus those wretched track pads, but Iím really chuffed with it to this point.

    Before I get into painting the vehicle, I thought Iíd better have a go at the crew. Again, some tidying needed, but Iím relieved that the DPM pattern has turned out OK...


  4. #4
    Master PreacherCain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tooks View Post
    Blimey, you are a nerd... ;-)
    Guilty, m'lud! :-D

  5. #5
    Master amnesia's Avatar
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    Good stuff... I am 16 parts into the Ferrari F40 Competizione build (Panini / Centauria)... waiting patiently for the next 4 parts at the end of this month.

    The engine / transmission is coming along nicely.

    I can't recommend a decent pair of side cutters and modelling magnifying glasses enough !!!


  6. #6
    Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    I have an old Dinky Chieftain on my bookshelf. No tracks - I broke those many years ago. How apt that mine too is in need of a service.

    Looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

    Thanks for sharing, PC.

  7. #7
    Journeyman
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    Great work! What did you use for the primer? Looks like it has been sprayed on?

    Sent from my POT-LX1 using TZ-UK mobile app

  8. #8
    Grand Master GraniteQuarry's Avatar
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    Ah building models was an essential part of childhood! No doubt an unknown pleasure to most kids nowadays.

    Got quite a few kits here both RC and static in sealed boxes, part-built and finished

  9. #9
    Master
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    Sorry to bring this thread crashing down but here is the limit of my Ďskillsí
    One of the lockdown school assignments my boy had to do.

  10. #10
    Very impressive OP!

  11. #11
    Master PreacherCain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amnesia View Post
    Good stuff... I am 16 parts into the Ferrari F40 Competizione build (Panini / Centauria)... waiting patiently for the next 4 parts at the end of this month.

    The engine / transmission is coming along nicely.

    I can't recommend a decent pair of side cutters and modelling magnifying glasses enough !!!
    Side cutters are indeed a godsend, I have no idea why they weren't standard when I was a kid, I'd have fewer hobby knife scars... I get away without magnifying glasses as I am short sighted. If I need a close-up view, my right eye naturally focuses about 10cm off the cornea!

    Quote Originally Posted by martinupnorth View Post
    Great work! What did you use for the primer? Looks like it has been sprayed on?
    Indeed so - Humbrol acrylic primer in a rattle can. Apart from that and matt varnish, all the rest of the painting will be old-fashioned brushwork. Airbrushes are great, but this seems a poor time to start learning to use one!

    Quote Originally Posted by jaytip View Post
    Sorry to bring this thread crashing down but here is the limit of my Ďskillsí
    One of the lockdown school assignments my boy had to do.
    Love it - and at least those tracks were easy to assemble...!

  12. #12
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Nice to see another modeller.

    Like others I made them as a kid but restarted a year or two back when I bought an Airfix Spitfire from a boot sale for 50p.

    I prefer WWII aircraft and as I'm retired I find them a pleasant pastime when the weather is inclement outside.

    My latest is this Fujimi 1/48 Grumman F7F Hellcat from CVE Princeton.





    This is a Trumpeter 1/24 Spitfire VB I built that came out of my son's friends garage for a tenner (usually about £80!)

    I find the larger models easier to handle with the eyesight not being what it was.

    The only trouble is that they are so big it's difficult to store them.

    Luckily my Mrs hasn't looked in the spare room lately!


    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  13. #13
    Master Chinnock's Avatar
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    Fantastic stuff folks. Reminds me of my times at boarding school on a wet Sunday afternoon with my mates. We all used to help each other out, share the paint pots and build backdrops too. Fond memories.

  14. #14
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    Liking your work so far. One word however springs to mind. Diorama. You know you want to.

    Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.
    Friedrich Nietzsche


  15. #15
    Master
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    I thought the idea was to paint all parts first while they were still on the plastic frames???

  16. #16
    Master PreacherCain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redmonaco View Post
    I thought the idea was to paint all parts first while they were still on the plastic frames???
    Some folks do, but I've always found it to be a pain in the hoop: firstly, lining up things like camouflage patterns on different panels is hard when they're not assembled. Secondly, I find that the liquid cement I prefer damages the paint, and/or that I have to scrape paint off the mating surfaces to get good adhesion. Finally, I lack the patience to deal with the enormous touch-up job that is required when the parts are off the sprue and I've sanded/smoothed the attachment points.

    Different strokes for different folks, but I tend to pre-paint any tiny fiddly bits (periscopes, TOGS optic, headlight lenses etc.) and leave the rest until the beast is assembled.

    As for a diorama, Andy, I may already have acquired a pre-moulded plaster "street corner" base, as well as some other odds and sods (bergens, bedrolls, jerry cans etc) for decoration.

  17. #17
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Built many Airfix and other makes kits as in my youth so this brings back pleasant memories. Mainly planes but some tanks. Have always wanted to do one of the wooden kits of HMS Victory, as Admiral Lord Nelson and the ships of his era are a particular interest of mine.
    Cuidich 'n Righ

  18. #18
    Master
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    Can anyone recommend a really good quality ready made model of an Alvis tank, preferably a Scimitar or a Scorpion ?

    I would like one as a show piece in my office.

  19. #19
    Craftsman Wyvern971's Avatar
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    Haven't started this yet, wanted to paint it first


    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using TZ-UK mobile app

  20. #20
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    I used to make model aircraft as a kid.
    I had not completed a kit since my early teens and a then a few years ago I made this small thing




    Itís sits on a shelf collecting dust but I do have the really thing to play with.



    Itís handy for trips to B&Q

  21. #21
    Journeyman
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    ah i thought you might have become one of these 'armchair epidemiologists' with a spreadsheet :) This looks much more productive!

  22. #22
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyvern971 View Post
    Haven't started this yet, wanted to paint it first


    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using TZ-UK mobile app
    I have been watching YouTube videos on Gunpla recently- I think a lot of them donít need painting but can be improved with shading of certain lines or complete customisation. That looks like a good one.

  23. #23
    As you can imagine, the interweb is full of older gents making models.

    Just an example here:

    https://youtu.be/CI2AqNZ7Taw

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by swisstony View Post
    As you can imagine, the interweb is full of older gents making models.

    Just an example here:

    https://youtu.be/CI2AqNZ7Taw
    Thanks Iíve found something else to waste countless hours on now

  25. #25
    Craftsman
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    I have got back into some modelling during lockdown too, the first I have made since I was about 15 I think!
    First up was a Ugears truck, which I finished off in a matter of days. I am now up to stage 70 of 86 of a DeAgostini McLaren mp4-23 in 1/8th scale. Next up once that is finished I have an Eaglemoss 007 Aston Martin DB5, also in 1/8 scale. I was never that good at painting so I like these models that come already painted!


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app

  26. #26
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PreacherCain View Post

    As for a diorama, Andy, I may already have acquired a pre-moulded plaster "street corner" base, as well as some other odds and sods (bergens, bedrolls, jerry cans etc) for decoration.
    Good man👍. How about go bigger and have it with Tanker or transporter. I am sure Mrs Cain will not mind.

    Looking forward to seeing the final article.

    Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.
    Friedrich Nietzsche


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